San Diego

City Testing Validation Sensors on Hillcrest Parking Meters

The city says the sensors are temporary and aren't present anywhere else.

The City of San Diego is testing new vehicle detection sensors on parking meters that gather data on spot occupancy.

Small, plastic encased cameras can be seen attached to parking meter poles in Hillcrest on Fourth Avenue between University Avenue and Robinson Avenue. The cameras could take the place of more traditionally parking validation methods, like tire chalking.

The sensors will be able to detect when a vehicle leaves a spot and recalibrate so that incoming cars don't occupy the spot for a time the person before them paid for. They will also discourage drivers from coming back and re-feeding the meter when the two-hour time allotment is up.

Katie Keach, the city's Communications Department Director, said that the sensors have been in place in Hillcrest for a couple of months.

Hillcrest resident Jacob Baez says the new technique isn't surprising, but thinks that the sensors will hassle residents and employees in the neighborhood more than it will visitor parking practices.

"It's kind of hard to say because a lot of the people that park here work here," Hillcrest resident Jacob Baez said. "That's what I've find out. They either work here or live here. The people that are coming by... they usually Uber or stay in an Airbnb or hotel, so I don't think they used the parking spots that much."

Keach says the sensors are temporary and are located on this particular block of Fourth Avenue only.

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